KIT: Testors 1/32 HH-43 'Huskie'
KIT #: 7206
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: HSO boxing


The Kaman HH-43 Huskie is a helicopter used by the United States Air Force, the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps in the 1950s through 1970s. It was primarily used for aircraft firefighting and rescue. It was originally HOK and HUK under the USN.

The Huskie had an unusual inter-meshing contra-rotating twin-rotor arrangement with control effected by servo-flaps. The first prototype flew in 1947 and was adopted by the U.S. Navy with a piston-engined version. It was later adopted by the Air Force in a turboshaft B and F versions.

This aircraft saw use in the Vietnam War with several detachments of the 38th Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron, where it was known by its call sign moniker "Pedro", before being replaced by newer aircraft in the early 1970s.


This is, of course, an old Hawk kit. Testors bought the company when it went out of business and reissues many of the Hawk molds from time to time. They are 1960s technology, as you might expect, but in this case, that is not a bad thing. In those days, rivets = accuracy and for this helicopter, it is perfect as the real aircraft was festooned with them. The molds are actually in pretty good shape. No real flash to speak of, but there were sink marks in most of the thicker bits (like the rotor blades near the root) and ejector pin marks everywhere. The most pesky to eliminate will be those on the fins.Also typical of these older kits, the parts seem reluctant to stay on the sprues and many were loose in the taped bags that Testors use.

Cockpit is well appointed for the day with seats, rudder pedals, cyclic, collective and a center console. The kit has a set of meshed gears so you can have the rotors properly work. Rotors look OK in this scale, but I'd bet there is more detail tot he hubs than what is shown. There is no cabin detail at all so it would probably be best to keep the separate clamshell rear doors closed. Same with the side doors. A rescue hoist is provided and the clear bits are quite clear, though somewhat thick.

Instructions are well done and give references to Testors paints where appropriate. Two options are give for markings. One is an SEA camouflaged version as shown on the box and the other is a civil helo in white. However, the markings on the sheet are not for either of those and are for an ADC grey version as shown on the box art. This means no placement guide for most of the markings as you'll just have to figure out where some of that stuff goes. Bit of a cock-up, eh? Decals are well printed and are done by Microscale.


Though by no means new, it is also not that bad for its day and I've seen these built up into superb models. One thing for sure, they are not difficult to find for a most reasonable price.

Thanks to the Evansville raffle for this one!

April 2007

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